Most of you reading this know that music is my profession. Like any artist striving to create a small business from their craft, I spend a fair amount of time learning about how to communicate with people in ways that are meaningful to us both. One of the ways I have decided is right for me is blogging. Blogging is a way I can communicate with my people no matter where I am. It’s a place to share new song ideas, muse on the worldview that shapes the songs – which in my case is decidedly magickal – and to generally converse with like-minded folk. While social network sites feel like being at a party, my blog is where I can invite folks into my living room. It’s more intimate, more personal, and ultimately where I feel most comfortable sharing the deeper parts of myself.
Because I am fairly new to blogging, I wanted to learn from those who’ve had some success. I have spent the last year and a half reading all sorts of blogs, signing their mailing lists, working through their workbooks, participating in blogging groups, etc. And they’ve all been really helpful. But at the end of the day – I am throwing much of it away. The time has come for me to stop listening to others’ voices, so that I can better hear my own. Oh, not forever. Listening to others is pretty crucial to having genuine relationships! But – for a little while, I need to tune into the voice of my own inner expert.
The reasons are twofold:
1) I have come to feel that doing all these programs has become an excuse to distract myself from diving into my own work. “I just need one more workshop to break through my stuck places and THEN I can start!” I am not saying we never need these things, and in fact I can recommend a dozen if you are finding yourself in a stuck place. I’ve sampled several over the last 18 months! But what I am saying is that for my part, I have gotten what I can get out of them for the time being, and they have become busy work/distraction from actually applying what I’ve learned.
2) A lot of the information isn’t relevant to me. Such as the blogging formulas that purportedly get people’s attention. Apparently I am supposed to be putting out “How to” blogs to help make your life better. But the thing is…I don’t write “How-to” manuals for helping make your life better. I sing songs. My blogging isn’t about blogging. It’s about music. Same thing applies to the “7 ways to make your (whatever) more epic”. These blogging formulas are supposed to get me more readers because I am helping you to find the answers you are seeking in your life. And therefore more folks will discover me, leave comments on my blog, and I will rise in the ranks of Google.
That all sounds contrived as Fuck. At least for me.
I know some excellent bloggers who do these things in a way that feels authentic, and I have learned a lot from them. but it is time to move on.
It is time for me to stop “learning” – at least for awhile – and tune into my own voice. I may not have 7 tips for you to lose weight, make money on the internet, or be more like me. I may not have epically inspiring things to share every day. My most epic work is going to come in the form of songs, because that’s how I roll. I am not setting out to become an A-list blogger. Only to share more about the places my music comes from. If you are moved by my music perhaps you’ll want to read my blog.
A year and a half ago, when I started reading these blogs, and learning how others have built their online businesses, I did learn a lot. But for the past several months I have been trying to extract the same inspiration I got when I first discovered some of these folks (Chris Guillebeau, Goddess Leonie, Connection Revolution to name just a few) and it’s just not there anymore. And the worst part?
It has actually kept me from blogging. Because I go into “second-guessing myself” mode. Is what I am writing “useful”? Am I really helping anyone? Is my content “Epic” enough?
The way I help others is to write music that cracks my heart open. If my own heart cracks open, I know that some others’ will too. And boy could this world do with a lot more open hearts!
So that’s what this blog is going to be. My journey to crack my heart open – through beauty, wonder, mystery, music, hope, joy, sorrow. The journey to feel the depths of this world as fully as possible. You are welcome to come along.
So where am I at right now?
I am raw, my loves. I am doing what I love, what I have longed to do my entire life. And I fear that it is not enough. All the time, I wonder if it is selfish and self-indulgent. Shouldn’t I be more “activist-y” somehow? Shouldn’t I be doing more to “Save The World”? And always, Howard Thurman’s famous quote comes to me in those moments – “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive”. This is a guiding light for me as I navigate my way through these feelings.
Also – the money is sporadic at best. So I confront fear every single day. Every day that I am not living under a bridge and still get to write songs and plan tours is a day that I am allowed to be fully alive. And this compels a gratitude like nothing ever has. And yet I am acutely aware of how fragile this is, and that I must work tirelessly to bring myself to a more stable place with it all.
Now that I am living as a full-time musician, there is no way I could ever stop. I have never felt so alive, so fierce, so full of magick and hope. So I must find a way. And if I can’t, I honestly think I would rather starve than let the songs inside me go unsung. For what? For safety? No way.
Finding and expressing the songs that live inside me is, at my core, what makes life worth getting up for every day. I will find a way through this path of traveling the world singing my songs, or I will starve. I will not let my fear and uncertainty lull me back to the unsatisfied sleep I was in for so long. I will create my life on my own terms or die trying.
And it is this call, to follow my Siren Song despite the dangers, that compels me to return to the Siren myth as a songwriting theme over and over again.
Do you have a Siren Song you follow? As always, I invite you to share your stories in the comments. It’s so much more fun to share a conversation than to talk to myself!